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(TX) Clerk shoots reported beer thief

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Moscow on the Colorado, TX
    Clerk shoots reported beer thief

    05:19 PM CDT on Thursday, September 6, 2007

    By Carolyn Campbell and Vicente Arenas / 11 News

    The clerk followed the suspect to his car. A Heights area store clerk shot and killed a man who allegedly ran out of his store with 18 beers Wednesday night.

    The shooting happened at a Conoco in the 600 block of Studewood at White Oak.

    The clerk said the man went into the store around 11:45 p.m. and walked out with a 12-pack and a six-pack of beer. The store clerk followed the suspect out to his car.

    The suspect allegedly reached for something, and that's when the clerk shot him once in the chest, fearing the man was reaching for a gun.

    Two witnesses tried to perform CPR on the suspect, but he died at the scene.

    Houston police haven't determined if the suspect had a weapon in his car. The case has been referred to a grand jury.

    “You can’t run rampant and just go steal beer. I mean if that guy let him steal beer then what’s next. They steal your car. They steal everything,” said Ary Bolanos who is a customer.

    Officials say a clerk was killed at this store several years ago by another man trying to steal a can of beer.

    While the murder rate in the Heights is down, burglaries are up nearly 40 percent.

    “You’ve gotta be very suspicious and now you’ve got to be very careful in the neighborhood,” said Santa Iturralde. He’s a customer.

    The Conoco service station sits on a corner next to a couple of popular bars that have opened up in the last couple of years. The legendary Fitzgerald’s club sits right across the street.

    A clerk at the store Thursday said he’s got some really cool customers and knows many of them by name. He even gives some of them credit when they can’t pay for gas or cigarettes.

    But he said things have been changing in the neighborhood over the past couple of years. The store was recently broken into, and the cash register was smashed open.

    There have been several other robberies and home burglaries in the area; recently, vandals broke out the windows of several business in the area.

    The Heights has been in transition for years now.

    There are new bars and $400,000 homes, but along with the growth though comes pain.

    Just Ask store clerk Tony Vong. “It was kind of quiet for a year or two and then the crime rate started coming up again.”

    The same can be said of many Houston neighborhoods.

    In the Heights though certain crimes outpace the rest of Houston.

    The beauty that attracts so many people here, it seems, also attracts the bad guys.

  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I'm sure the criminal was the oft-cited "good boy."

    The real pity isn't that the "good boy" died for 18 cans of beer, but that other "good boys" aren't smart enough to learn the obvious lesson from his stupid mistake.
  3. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Active Member

    May 21, 2007
    Where the Wild Things Are
    I'm getting seriously tired of living in Houston...
  4. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Senior Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Southern Indiana
    Killed for 18 cans of beer.

  5. Flak_Jakett

    Flak_Jakett New Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    He followed the suspect to the car? I think in my state the man would get some real prison time for that. The suspect was fleeing. And if he stole coors light or some other such pee water, then the store was only out like what?... 5 bucks? And for that he was killed. I hope the guy is happy with living down the fact that he shot a guy for 18 cans of beer.
  6. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho
    Two Things

    We'll overlook the fact that this guy had already made the decision that a case of beer was what his life was worth.

    Because, there are a couple of other pertinent facts:
    . . . and . . .
    Sometimes they just want the beer.

    Other times they're willing to kill you for it.

    You choose which one you're dealing with today.
  7. Mannix

    Mannix Active Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    None of us were there(please post if you were).
    All the facts aren't out yet.

    For all we know the BG COULD have been going for a gun, at any rate it says he was shot in the chest, not the back. Meaning whatever he was going for, he turned around at the same time, presumably in a menacing fashion, which would be considered a very foolish thing to do if the person following you was armed.

    Bottom line, there's not enough info to determine if it was a good or bad shoot.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  8. Titan6

    Titan6 member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Gillikin Country
    This is truly excellent.

    Let us assume that the story is as written. Dangerous assumption that the media got it right I know... but still:
    1. The man stole the beer
    2. The clerk chased after him
    3. The clerk suddenly felt in danger because he ''thought'' the alleged BG might be reaching for a weapon.
    4. Clerk puts a pill in the BG's chest
    5. No weapon was found
    6. No other witnessess
    7. Years ago someone else had been killed at the store over beer.
    8. No charges were filed

    I like it.

    Now every mall Ninja at shopping mall everywhere with his tactical Glock 40 can feel a sense of urgency when faced with alleged shoplifters. ''She was reaching in her purse I swear! I thought she was bringing out a .38 or something...The baby carriage is more than adequate to hide a sawed off SXS.... Those little punks come in here everyday after school stealing stuff....''

    Shoplifting is hardly a victimless crime anyway. The company loses real money over it and that could mean the difference between a vacation in Europe and a vacation in the Antilles to some corporate honcho.

    I say we give ''license to kill'' to security guards and store clerks everywhere. These highly trained individuals with catlike reflexes are able to make snap decisions on who is stealing what... and can blow the trash away to make perfect society for the rest of us.

    We could even take it a step fruther and make the death penalty the only punishment for all crime but I think people lack the courage for that these days.
  9. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Flak Jacket- The dead man was a thief. A criminal. That's enough for me. Doesn't matter if was a can of beer or a million dollars in value. A thief is a thief and I suspect that men would have been quite willing to commit violence against his victim with no lost sleep.

    I have zero tolerance for criminals.

    When I was about 20 I was working nights in a convenience store. Guy walked out with two cases of beer one night and I went after him with a 1911in my hand. I would not have shot a shoplifter at that time (I now realize how dangerous any criminal can be) but worried he might get violent. In the parking lot he had 3 friends waiting. The 4 to 1 odds looked bad so I cranked off a round in the air. Great fun. They ran like the rats they were dropping the beer and falling over each other to get away.

    No, none of the neighbors called the cops.
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    No, killed for stealing another man's livelihood. Good shoot, hope it works out OK for the store owner.
  11. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Participating Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Actually, don't we know that in this case, the bad guy was not looking to kill the clerk? The bad guy had already left the store. If his aim was to kill the clerk, then he would have done so in the store.

    I would consider that pretty clear evidence that the bad guy just wanted the beer.

  12. Shadowangel

    Shadowangel Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    Doesn't mean he can take it without reprecussions. I want a million dollars. If I tried to steal it, I would expect to be shot at.
  13. One of Many

    One of Many Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Shiawassee County
    Notice that they say the crime problem has increased in the last two years - KATRINA transplants most likely. The criminals that were forced out of LA and ended up in TX, decided that the TX area was richer pickings than what they would find back in LA.

    When the BG turns to confront the chasing store clerk, and makes a motion that can be reasonably interpreted to be reaching for a weapon, the clerk can justifiably fear for his life. To exercise the right of self defense, the clerk is not required to have exercised good judgment in trying to stop the thief from getting away with the stolen goods, the clerk is required to have reasonable fear of death at the hands of the BG. If the BG had simply dropped the beer and kept going (with his back to the clerk) he would not have been considered to be a threat, and could not be justifiably shot. This situation turns on the fact that the BG decided to confront the clerk, and made threatening motions.
  14. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Senior Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    In a Los Angeles coffin.
    'Nuff said. Do we want criminals to do anything they want to innocent, law abiding citizens? NO. Fight or flight...the clerk chose to fight.

    BUT, it is questionable if it was self-defense since the clerk thought the BG had a gun. To be continued...
  15. otcconan

    otcconan New Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Republic of Texas
    I work in retail, and we are instructed never to follow anyone who is stealing past the point of sale. It is for our own protection. It's sad, but I have a feeling the clerk is going to hang for this (figuratively, of course). I don't know what Conoco's policy is, but I suspect it's similar. The very best that can happen is he'll walk on the indictment, but lose his job anyway.

    Killed for 18 beers? Not really that sad, in my opinion. Fired for 18 beers? Really, really stupid.
  16. Karma

    Karma New Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Houston, TX
    That same news channel has reported that the DA is filing charges on the clerk. The (Houston) Chronicle hasn't updated the story.
  17. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    You shoot and kill someone in Texas you go to the Grand Jury no matter what, the DA has no choice in that.
  18. TexKettering

    TexKettering Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    San Antonio/Charleston
    Really? What exactly is the Grand Jury... I'm playing the ignorant card. :D

    According to the Texas deadly force statutes, it appears that the clerk was legally justified in using force.
  19. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Active Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    Houston, By God Texas
    Which is as it should be. It keeps the next "law dog" DA from pressing charges on you later. A very nifty device to prevent double jeapordy.
  20. brerrabbit

    brerrabbit Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    I am not sure but I do not believe Double Jeopardy applies to grand jury proceedings.

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